Good Afternoon, St. Louis. Thanks for tuning in to our lunchtime chat. We look forward to answering your questions!
Thank you for sharing your feedback about the maintenance of the Central West End Transit Center. BJC owns the garage the Central West End Transit Center is located within, and they are responsible for maintaining this facility. The garage is pressure washed periodically, though because it is a high-volume facility and is covered, therefore it does not receive rainfall, it may require more frequent cleaning. Metro has reached out to BJC to discuss whether supplemental cleanings are required. This is an ongoing conversation and we will continue working collaboratively with our partners to ensure these facilities are well maintained.
I’m not certain about the detour on the #8 Bates Morganford you are referring to within Dutchtown; you reference in Dutchtown; perhaps you mean traveling on Bates between Grand and Morganford in the Holly Hills and Carondelet neighborhoods? In any case, the #8 Bates Morganford is designed to provide local transit service on corridors with some density, including Bates, and at its southern end this route also provides access to residential and commercial destinations, including connectivity to other routes at Loughborough Commons at the Catalan Loop Transit Center, which is also a layover point for this route. Like many “feeder” routes, this route does not offer direct service along a single corridor because it is designed to provide service coverage to nearby neighborhoods. The cost of adding a separate route for these nearby locales is beyond Metro’s available operating resources. Metro does periodically adjust its routes and schedules, and we are considering some changes to service in this area to become effective beginning in fall 2017.
At the end of the line, MetroBus operators are authorized to offload their passengers and board passengers that are waiting at the bus. They must then secure their bus and take their layover (break). Customers cannot board the bus during this time when the operator is not present.
The Loop Trolley will be connected to the Metro transit system at the Delmar and Forest Park-DeBaliviere MetroLink Stations. However, the Loop Trolley is a separate transit service from Metro. Metro Transit is working to support the Loop Trolley in a technical and advisory capacity, however at this time we have different programs and fare policies for features like fare payment, customer information, public safety, etc.
Metro is considering options for creating service that would allow some integration between regularly-scheduled transit routes and service operated on a demand-responsive basis, possibly by transportation network companies (TNCs). There are several different models that exist today within the transit agency, and Metro is actively exploring different business models and technology solutions that would assist in providing supplementary transportation service within our region.
Within every MetroLink train car, there are signs posted provide customers with a number to call (314-289-6873) to reach Metro Public Safety dispatch to report an incident. Dispatchers answer this line 24 hours / day and can dispatch Local Police or Metro Public Safety Personnel. Our local police entities are also exploring social media interfaces for residents to communicate with law enforcement as crimes occur.
Metro is currently working with our partners in this area including BJC and WUSTL on the design of a TIGER-funded project that will soon extend the Central West End platform to the east and construct the new Boyle MetroLink Station. We are also developing conceptual plans for improving pedestrian access and circulation within the vicinity of the Central West End MetroLink Station. A final plan or construction project has not yet been determined, but we anticipate this conversation will continue until a solution is in place.
Metro continues to test electric buses provided as demonstrations from manufacturers. We have been looking for a vehicle that can reliably operate 250 miles between charges, in hot and cold weather, and still meet Metro’s other performance criteria. We will receive such a demonstration bus in December - January, and this will provide an important test of battery range during cold weather. Assuming the technology meets our requirements, we would expect to initiate a procurement of electric vehicles within the next year. Because transit buses are built on demand and we do not know our target order date, we do not have a definite "in service" date in mind at this time. We are excited by new technologies the industry is presenting, and we will continue to purchase and operate vehicles in a manner that is reliable and cost-effective.
Thank you for a lively chat this afternoon. As always, you may reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org; www.metrostlouis.org; at 314-982-1406, or by following us on Facebook or Twitter.